WREXHAM's oldest living war hero has died at the age of 102.

The community is mourning the death of a local man, John Bellis, known as "Jack" who died on Sunday, August 5.

Mr Bellis was a Bren gun carrier driver/mechanic during D-Day and was with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, but fought alongside the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry during the landings.

Mr Bellis received numerous medals for his service, including the 1939-1945 Star and France and Germany Star.

He was also awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour for military and civil merit for his service during the D-Day landings.

After the war Mr Bellis worked at the Brymbo Steelworks before taking early retirement from his post as a foreman in the 1970s.

He also ran a materials stall at Powis Hall Indoor Market in Oswestry for many years with his wife Gladys who died in 2013.

He became a familiar face to shoppers at Sainsbury’s in Wrexham where he collected thousands of pounds for the Royal British Legion.

Mr Bellis' family have spoken about his unique character.

Sandra Davies, 59, of Coedpoeth, is Mr Bellis' daughter.

She said: "He moved to Broughton Hall Care Home in Wrexham eight weeks ago and the staff there were outstanding, I can't thank them enough.

"There was a summer fair there on Sunday and we were all sat out in the garden.

"At around 3pm he said he wanted to go to bed.

"When I got home I had the call to say he had gone.

"He has always been a fighter and even though you know these things are going to happen, it still takes you by surprise.

"He loved photographs and would be thrilled to have his in the newspaper- he had thousands of photos and used to show them to everyone."

Debbie Davies Bellis, one Mr Bellis’ grandchildren, said: "I was so proud of him and what he has gone through, I was lucky to be his eldest grandchild.

"He was an amazing man, such a character, always smiling and joking about.

"He will be greatly missed by all and loved always."

Tributes were also pouring in to social media to pay respects to the war hero on Sunday.

On Twitter, Claire Lewis said: "We lost a hero today. Mr Jack Bellis our #Wrexham Normandy Veteran.

"He told me many of his stories and about how he drove his Bren Carrier on to Sword Beach on #DDay.

"I will never forget him. RIP."

Chris Roberts said: "RIP great grandad who passed away today at the grand old age of 102, he was a world two veteran.

"We owe him and many other men/women so much respect.

"Thank you Sir for your service and protecting our country."

Cllr David Griffiths, Wrexham Council's armed forces champion, said: "I's a great loss. He was one of the the remaining ones who was actively involved.

"He had a wonderful life and never lost his sense of humour.

"It is sad that this verbal history is going away.

"It was a pleasure to have known him."